Identify an element that will serve to remind the reader of something relevant as the story is concluded. 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One aspect of relevance that emerges in the reader's mind upon the conclusion of Orwell's essay is that nothing is truly resolved.  There is no defining element of unity or harmony presented at the end of the narrative.  The elephant is shot.  Neither the indigenous people or the British is really made better because of it.  The English narrator has not constructed a transcendent notion of unity or totalizing force.  The ending is one in which there is complete disorder or fragmentation.  Orwell's closing paragraph speaks to this.  "There were endless discussions," but little in way of resolution.  Nothing ends up becoming clear at the end of the essay:  " put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant.  I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool."  Contrary to the sweeping certainty that was instrumental in advancing imperialist ideology, the ending of the essay is one in which there is nothing absolute.  This lingers in the reader's mind upon the conclusion of the essay.  It is relevant because it speaks to the underlying condition of the flaws within imperialism, offering a contrary vision that lingers in the reader's mind.

Along these lines, the presence of doubt is something that remains in the reader's mind.  Since Orwell renders a vision where there is no certainty, the reader has to assess for themselves what the narrator did and whether it was the right thing to do.  The ending note of the essay is one in which doubt remains.  The reader must assess what they would have done in the same situation as the narrator.  It forces the narrator to examine what criteria has to be used in order to act in a "right" manner.  As a result of this, the reader absorbs the multiple forces that act upon the narrator.  This is relevant because it seeks to address the fundamental questions of what shall be done and what defines human beings.  Orwell's ending is one where the reader reflects on such an idea, and this is what makes the ending of the essay relevant to the reader.

The lack of totality in the conclusion resonates in the reader's mind.  It is clear that it resonates in the mind of the narrator. The conclusion is one where relevance presents itself.  It is in this idea where something relevant is reached upon the story's ending.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One element that serves to remind the reader of something relevant when the essay is concluded is the mention of the strange relationship of conqueror to the conquered and Orwell's personal feelings that conflict with those of his countrymen.

I was all for the Burmese and against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters.

This expression of distaste for his position foreshadows Orwell's ethical ambivalence regarding his response to the call from the Burmese subinspector at a police station about a rogue elephant. For, Orwell's moral analysis of the situation when he sees the Burmese "crucified" by the elephant, then his shooting of this creature "solely to avoid looking like a fool" shames him because he knows he has "turned tyrant" in trying to impress the natives and not appear weak by not using the rifle he has brought along.